Christian McBride

Recent Articles

Memorable musical moments from 2013

 

 
People have a huge thirst for connection. How well a song or an experience stays with you can be as easy as answering the question, does this art have resonance, or not? If I were to put together a musically inspired compilation of this year’s wide sampling of recorded music that I’ve heard and the live music that I’ve experienced this year, it would include an amazing group of talented artists who continue to challenge themselves as they give us something creative and personal. As I surf the memories of my mind from this year I can’t help but start at the beginning. To kick off 2013 in spectacular fashion was Minneapolis native and Blue Note Records artist Jose James who performed music
from his album No Beginning No End. Continue Reading →

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Legendary guitarist performing at the Dakota pursuing degree in music therapy

 

 

Jazz guitarist Stanley Jordan is world renowned for his unique two-handed guitar technique (also known as the touch technique, or two-handed tapping) and will return to the Twin Cities to play a special solo guitar set at the Dakota on July 18. The 50-something Chicago native lives in Sedona, Arizona and lately has been playing with a number of jam bands, by way of guest spots with musicians such as Dave Matthews and Phil Lesh. In the midst of all his musical activities, Jordan is actively involved in the area of music therapy. He’s extremely passionate about his work with kids and people in pain and participates in clinics across the country. Jordan is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in music therapy from Arizona State University. Continue Reading →

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This year’s Twin Cities Jazz Festival offers plenty of affordable, quality entertainment

This weekend June 27-29 the 15th Annual Twin Cities Jazz Festival returns to St. Paul’s Mears Park. And the best thing is it’s free! Festival goers can expect to experience a wide spectrum of music presented on four outdoor stages and in many local Downtown St. Paul venues. Continue Reading →

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Three jazz artists producing quality material

 

 

 

What does it mean to work with a high level of musicality? Three cutting-edge musicians with new albums out — veteran artists Nicholas Payton, Christian McBride, and rising star Gerald Clayton —certainly know the answer to that question. And for their enduring creative efforts, their passionate music is wooing the world. Trumpeter Payton, bassist McBride, and pianist Clayton, all composers and bandleaders in their own rights, as well as Grammy-winning and Grammy-nominated artists, also continue to capture the attention of critics the world over with some of the most accessible new music that I’ve heard this year, so far. They may not be appearing on bandstands with their own bands at our local jazz clubs in support of their albums anytime soon, but at least two of them are no strangers to the Jazz Showcase bandstand in Chicago. Continue Reading →

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Jeffrey Osborne delivers jazz standards with A Time For Love

 

 

Eighties’ heartthrob, master vocalist and a fine songsmith, Jeffrey Osborne has a very special gift for fans, A Time For Love (SSR Records). His newest since 2005’s Yes, I’m Ready,

it’s a winning note on which listeners who’ve always enjoyed this premiere performer will eagerly welcome him back. In addition to Osborne still being in top form, A Time For Love has going for it that he’s reunited with renowned producer-keyboardist-arranger George Duke (Jeffrey Osborne, Stay With Me Tonight, Don’t Stop).  The illustrious combination still gets the job done.  Beautifully. This album is a collection of jazz standards like “The Shadow of Your Smile,” the timeless Nat “King” Cole classic “Nature Boy,” and “What a Wonderful World,” with some pop staples thrown in, i.e., “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight,” and “(They Long To Be) Close To You,” along with the dusty chestnut “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” done as a duet with Chaka Khan.  Most music lovers won’t recognize the name outside longtime readers of liner notes, but a splendid inclusion is bassist Christian McBride who, at one point or another, has accompanied just about everyone under the sun: from Freddie Hubbard to Carly Simon to Queen Latifah and back. Osborne’s captivating baritone is rich as ever, even, in fact, subtler, as he pulls out a palette of shaded colors to give the songs— each of them old as the hills — freshly seductive vitality.  James Taylor’s “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight” gets a marvelously nuanced reading, starting with its sparse, sweetly arranged intro, which is a tad more upbeat than the original. Continue Reading →

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Good and bad news: MN Orchestra, new singer’s debut, Down Beat poll results

 

Planning your holiday entertainment? Wondering about young African American female singers on the rise? Want to get caught up on Down Beat’s Reader’s Poll results? No problem.  

MN Orchestra labor dispute bad news for jazz lovers

Well, first of all, you may not have heard, but the Minnesota Orchestral Association (MOA) has cancelled or rescheduled concerts until next season. Continue Reading →

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Ben Williams: Rising star bassist mixes classic and new sounds

 

 

Bandleader and bassist, Ben Williams is on his way to the Dakota on Sept 4 and 5 with the Pat Metheny Unity Band. He’s also well on his way to carving out a beautiful career. He won the 2009 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition for double bass and is currently a Concord Records recording artist. His first album as a bandleader is State of Art, released in June 2011. Below is a phone interview with Williams (BW). Continue Reading →

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